The Covid-19 vaccine rollout has been extended in England for the second time in two days. Adults aged 42 and over are now able to book their jab.
Here are your questions answered as the NHS in England takes another step forward in the biggest vaccination programme in its history.
Who has been offered the jab?
All adults aged 42 and over living in England are being invited to book their jab. Some 41-year-olds will also be eligible if they turn 42 before 1 July.
What should I do if I’m eligible?
People will receive a text inviting them to get their jab through the national booking service. Text invitations appear as an alert from “NHSvaccine” and include a link to the NHS website to book an appointment. Alternatively people can visit the NHS coronavirus vaccination booking website. People who cannot go online can call the service on 119 instead to book their jab.
Where can people get their jab?
Vaccinations are now being administered at more than 1,600 sites across England, including GP surgeries, pharmacies, mosques, museums and rugby grounds. The booking service will guide people to sites close to them and the NHS has said that the vast majority of people live within 10 miles of a site.
Why this age group?
Experts who advise the government on vaccines – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – has set out the priority list for Covid-19 jabs. The first phase of the vaccination programme focused on people who were at high risk from the virus because of their age or underlying health conditions, and health and social care workers. The second phase of the programme involves offering jabs to healthy younger adults – starting with those in their 40s.
When will I get my jab?
The JCVI has said that the NHS should take an age-based approach to the second phase of the rollout, despite calls for people in some key worker roles to get their vaccine as a priority. It said that the second phase of the programme should start with those aged 40 to 49. Healthy people aged 18 to 29 will be the last cohort offered the jab, and will be given either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, after officials said that this group should not be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns about a very rare potential side effect of an unusual type of blood clot. The government has previously pledged that all adults will be offered their first dose before the end of July.
What about other parts of the UK?
In Wales most health boards are offering the vaccine to those aged 30 and over. People aged 35 and over in Northern Ireland are being invited to book their vaccine. And the NHS in Scotland will make an announcement soon about the rollout of the programme to those aged 40 and over.
How many people have been vaccinated so far?
More than half of the population of the UK has now had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. In England a total of 38,792,402 Covid-19 vaccinations took place between 8 December and 24 April, according to NHS England data. Of these, 28,227,710 were the first dose of a vaccine, while 10,564,692 were a second dose.
How long has it taken to get this far?
The vaccine programme began on 8 December 2020, when Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 jab following its clinical approval.